Trojans conclude signing period with 24 new players

Published 5:13 pm Wednesday, December 18, 2019

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Troy head coach Chip Lindsey and his staff concluded their first full recruiting cycle on Wednesday. The Trojans welcomed the addition of 24 players to their roster.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 247Sports ranked Troy 75th in the nation and in the top 10 within the Group of Five. They finished with 17 three-star signees.

“It’s a big day and an exciting day in the college football world,” Lindsey said. “It’s really exciting here in Troy. I know our coaches and staff are really excited about this class. We addressed some needs and addressed some depth.

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Of the 24 newcomers, 13 of them were offensive players and 11 will play defense. The Trojans addressed areas of need on both the offensive line and in the secondary on Wednesday. The Trojans are forced to replace five offensive linemen and on Wednesday they welcomed in six new players.

“You always continue to build and bring in offensive linemen for the future,” Lindsey said. Two of the new linemen are junior college transfers in Toryque Bateman and Jordan Chapman, both of whom will be looked at to fill open positions next season.

Troy’s secondary was hit with numerous injuries this past season. On Wednesday, the Trojans addressed the problem by ensuring they added more depth at the cornerback and safety position.

“When you go through a season like we did where we had a number of guys injured, you hope to never go through that again,” Lindsey said. “When you look at where we needed to bring in some depth or even a better player, that was important for us. I think you can see the way we went in the signing class, that’s where the point of emphasis was. More for depth than anything.”

The Trojans were forced to say goodbye to senior quarterback Kaleb Barker. On Wednesday, they brought in two new quarterbacks in junior college transfer Parker McNeil and incoming freshman Kyle Toole. McNeil was named the National Junior College Athletic Association Offensive Player of the year following his sophomore season.

“Our two quarterbacks I think are really good players,” Lindsey said. “Parker McNeil was a Junior College All-American the last two years. He played in a system at Navarro under a coach named Scott Parr who is very familiar with our offense. That’s what really made me take a long look at Parker.

“Kyle Toole has been committed to us for a long time. He has a 29-2 record and won a state championship and threw for a bunch of yards. He has been the backbone of this class.”

Along with the two quarterbacks, the Trojans signed one running back, three wide receivers, and one tight end.

Other notable signees on offense are wide receiver Jabre Barber from Dothan High School and running back Kimani Vidal from Marietta, Georgia.

On the defensive side Troy signed three defensive tackles, two defensive ends or bandits, one linebacker, one cornerback and four safeties or defensive backs.

“We were able to sign five defensive backs,” Lindsey said. “When you include those five, plus those two this year that didn’t play for us, you are talking about the possibility of having seven new guys on the field competing in the mix for those five secondary spots.”

Troy added three defensive linemen including former tight end Shakel Brown and Luis Medina.

“We’re really trying to focus on getting one older defensive lineman,” Lindsey said. “We did that with Shakel Brown. A former tight end who is really athletic and is only going to improve and get better and then we had an explosive defensive lineman in Luis Medina. Those along with T.J. Jackson makes a really good defensive line class.”

Fifteen of the recruits came from the high school level with the remaining nine coming from junior college.

Nine recruits came from the state of Alabama, eight came from Georgia and three came from Florida.

“The state of Alabama, as it should, led us with nine,” Lindsey said. “There are four guys from other places maybe through the junior college route. Mostly our focus – when you talk about 20 guys coming from the Alabama, panhandle and the Georgia area, I think it’s huge.”

Nine of the new signees, as of Wednesday, will enroll in January.